March 8th

I want to learn how to make macarons…

I am not a big TV watcher, but when I do it is usually the Food Network. I particularly love all of the baking shows and competitions. I like to bake and am the designated baker for both sides of the family (mine and my husbands) but not in the “one day I would love to own a bakery” kind of way, but more of a “I really love to eat sweets” kind of way! The one that always blows me away is the Kid’s Baking Championship. EVERY season the kids have to make macarons and the ALL KNOW HOW!!! It just seems so precise and hard to do, but they all make it look easy. Last year, during the early months of quarantine, I started trying new recipes. Macarons never made it to the top of the list. Now I am a bit more determined and am making that a summer goal – to master the macaron.

BTW – I have really only eaten them a handful of times and are not something I crave or choose when given the option (and most of the time I cannot remember if they are macarons or macaroons), but if all of those kids can do it SO CAN I!!

March 7th

Things that come with age…

Last night my husband took the worst, and most hilarious, photo of my sister and I. We are sitting together in a big comfy chair, both stuffing our faces with Portillo’s chocolate cake. 25 years ago I would have been embarrassed that others might see it and laugh, but now, getting so very close to 50, I laughed so hard I cried. Then I emailed it to our best friends to share in the joy. Today we laughed some more about it. Knowing my husband, he is going to lay low with the photo for a while so that he can bring it out at strategic times.

These are the things that I wish I could teach my students. The things I wished I had believed when my parents said the same thing. I wish 13-20ish me had been more confident and less concerned with what others thought. I wish I had a little bit of what I have now back then. I feel like I wasted so much time and missed so many opportunities being scared… or worried.

I wish I had just laughed at the picture then too.

March 6th

Another relaxing weekend… Why is it, exactly, do I get so excited for the weekend? This morning, at 6:50, while I was driving to the gym for a 7:15 class, I was making a mental list of all of the things I needed to do this weekend.

Straighten up the house, finish the laundry, run to Target, stop at the grocery store, get gas, get my car washed, make mini lemon cakes for my nephew’s birthday party, write my blog both days, prep breakfast and lunch for myself for work, meal prep for dinners a bit to make the week easier and a few work things that I am sure I will think of before tomorrow night.

At nine my mom called asking if I would take her to the outlet mall today. Not today, but I promised we could go tomorrow. She NEEDS shirts. She doesn’t NEED shirts. She NEEDS to get out of the house. One more item on the list.

Wanna guess what is on my husband’s list this weekend???? Nothing, NOT ONE THING!

So glad this is going to be a relaxing weekend.

March 5th

It’s Friday!!!! I am going to wrap up my week with my “3 Best Things” for the week…

  1. The weather is changing. January and February were so cold and snowy so these few days in the 40s and 50s has been so great for my spirit. I love this time of year when things start to warm up and we see hints of Spring.
  2. My students and I are all looking forward to coming back after Spring Break to 5 days a week in school. They have been very chatty about it this week and I know they are hoping for some normalcy to close out the school year!
  3. We were able to get my parents an appointment next week for the vaccine. It has been a tough year for my dad and I am happy to get this out of the way. Although, I am taking them (since it is at the United Center and they only drive in a radius of 10 miles from their home) so I am sure there will be a story or 2 about that next week. Pray for me!!! 🙂

Starting off a little rough…

I haven’t had one of these days in quite a while. I just cannot do today. I had trouble sleeping because I was totally gigantifying several small students concerns (which now, this morning, seem minor). I have a slight headache (yes, a COVID symptom, but I know my body well enough to know that it is a lack of sleep and weird sleep position type of headache) and ZERO motivation to do any type of teaching today. In a normal year I would just make it an easy day for me and the kids but right now they are only here 2 days a week (2 groups, 2 days each) and I feel so much pressure to get as much done in those 2 days as I possibly can. After all, we are still trying to fit in a full year of curriculum. Somehow I need to muster up the enthusiasm and make it through this day.

Side note: enthusiasm is our SEL theme this week and yesterday one of the kiddos told me that I am “ALWAYS” enthusiastic, which is SO not true, but I am glad that even in this strangest of years I have been able to fake it enough to fool them!

Things I miss…

Prior to becoming a gifted specialist 7ish years ago for mostly 3rd-6th graders, I taught preK/K for 18 years. As much as I LOVED that job, I left because I wanted a change. While I like what I do, there are some things that I really miss about teaching those younger kiddos and, for some reason, yesterday I was really thinking about them.

#1 Younger kids just don’t hold grudges against anyone (most of the time). I could be having a really bad day and the next day they would still be so excited to see me.

#2 5th and 6th graders NEVER get that excited to see me!

#3 Younger kids gave me a lot more funny stories to tell when I got home.

#4 5th and 6th graders don’t really care if they disappoint me. Ugh.

#5 5th and 6th graders don’t really want to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with cute crafts and activities.

Don’t say it…

“I have a headache”… ugh, the dreaded words. “Sorry to hear that, but you need to go to the nurse”. This is what I say out loud but in my head I am thinking “Are you just tired, thirsty, hungry?”, because now our entire class needs to pack up and head to an empty classroom to work while they disinfect the classroom. This could take minutes or hours. I understand the need to be cautious, but headaches and stomachaches are pretty common occurrences for kids and now they are COVID symptoms too. I have to keep reminding myself that if this is the worst thing that happens to me that day (which I use as a mantra with my students all the time!), but yesterday, it was, of course, the one student who has already taken 2 vacations this year, had to quarantine twice (in October when we went hybrid for 4 days he had a stomachache and when his parents had COVID) and really does not do much when he is working from home. So much pressure right now and we keep taking 2 steps forward and 3 steps back.

350 days

Just a guess, but I think my husband has been working from home for about 350 days now. 350 days that he doesn’t have to get up early to catch the train. 350 days that he is home when I leave and still there when I get back in the evening. 350 days that he talks my ear off when I walk in the door because he is so excited for some human interaction. Things are different now. He used to look forward to plans on the weekends, trips, etc. Now he looks forward to the garbage pick up on Thursdays so he can be the first one to bring the cans in. He looks forward to his daily trip to McDonalds for iced coffee and several trips a day to the mailbox to see if anything is in there. Usually in the summer I look forward to lazy days of reading on the balcony, doing some home projects and running errands. Last summer he was there, EVERY DAY, asking me what was for lunch, what was I going to do all day, etc. My only saving grace was the once a week golf outing on Saturdays. Those ended in October. His company has not even started talking about bringing people back into the building. Did I mention that he has been home for 350 days????

Tuesday, March 31

And… that’s a wrap!

This will definately be a year to look back on. To reread the posts from the quarantine. I hope we never have to live through something like this again and I REALLY hope that the light at the end of the tunnel is sooner rather than later.

I have learned to slow down, to be more patient and to re-evaluate what I really need on a day to day basis. I have seen so much kindness in the midst of chaos. I shudder to think of the “after”. The ramifications of being shut down so long. The businesses going under, the families not being able to support themselves anymore.

I am thankful that my family and friends are healthy and safe (for now) and that my hubby and I are both able to work from home, continue to get paid and walk out the other end still intact, hoping that the impact on our lives is minimal.

Best wishes to all of you!

Monday, March 30

My life revolves around food…

Last night during our family zoom (yes, my parents made it on with only a few hiccups) my brother summed up my current life with a statement about his own. He said that he pretty much spends his day thinking about what he wants to eat next.

This. is. me.

This has always been me, but now it seems a bit more exaggerated because I don’t have a lot going on. After breakfast I start thinking about what I can make us for lunch. As soon as lunch is cleaned up I pretty much start planning for dinner. On my walk today (after lunch) I spent a lot of time thinking about dinner meal ideas for the week.

Basically, it all comes down to one thing; I REALLY need some hobbies!